The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Thanks to the wonderful Holly (you remember how much fun she is right?), I recently picked up The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness on her enthusiastic recommendation. Dystopian? Intriguing characters? Suspenseful action? Sign me right up.

Todd Hewitt lives in a world without silence. In Prentisstown, all the thoughts of every man and animals are projected loud and clear, without filter - called the Noise. Constant and deafening, the Noise is inescapable and full of every secret thought.
The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.
Todd has never known privacy in Prentisstown nor he has ever met a woman. His own mother, along with all the other women, was killed during the war with an alien race called the Spackle. Now as the only boy left in Prentisstown, Todd is eagerly awaiting his 13th birthday - the one that will turn him officially into a man. A month before his birthday Todd and his faithful dog Manchee discover something that will change his entire life and will contradict every truth he ever believed in and leave him running for his very survival.

There are many different reasons why I practically devoured this book: first of all is Patrick Ness' completely unique writing style. From the compelling and stark chapter titles to the varying type fonts used to characterize the harsh pervasiveness of the Noise - it was all just so... new and utterly real. But the real ace in the hole has to be the characterizations in The Knife of Never Letting Go. I so loved Todd's interactions with each and every individual - I even went so far as to fall in love with his crazy dog, Manchee. The dog. In every exchange, you can practically chart Todd's progression into maturity on his flight from Prentisstown. Take this truth Todd belatedly learns about the falseness of first impressions:
I look up at him. His face and his Noise are as blank as I remember but the lesson of forever and ever is that knowing a man's mind ain't knowing the man.
Talk about a book that will kill you with its utter, complete, blinding perfection. Which is the reason I shall now dub it as My Favorite Dystopian Read of 2010. Oh, I know it is only two weeks into January and I've got another 50 odd weeks of reading yet to come, but I cannot even begin to explain the sheer brilliance of this compelling book. After digesting this complex read, I'm more than confident that The Knife of Never Letting Go will remain on my best of lists. That is, unless The Ask and the Answer dares to take its place.

series reading order:
~ The Knife of Never Letting Go
~ The Ask and the Answer
~ Monsters of Men (September 2010)

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Confessions of a Bibliovore review
S. Krishna's Books review
Things Mean a lot review
YA Fabulous review
ya Reads review
Rhiannon Hart interviews Patrick Ness

book source: my local library


Anonymous said...

I've got this book on my bookshelf, but some other book always pushes it out of the way. I've go to read it, because all I've heard are great things. Thanks for the review.

Holly said...

Loved your review, as always. I think unfortunately Monsters of Men doesn't come out in the US until the fall, though. May is the Australia/UK(?) date.

Rhiannon Hart said...

Oh just WAIT til you get to The Ask and the Answer! Even better if that is possible! I eagerly await Monsters of Men like you wouldn't believe. Great review.

Michelle said...

Jill - Yes! Go now and move it directly to the top. Do not pass Go. It will blow your mind.

Holly - once again, thanks for clueing me in on how good it was. However, it should have come with a 'book crack' warning label - I stayed up till 2am trying to finish it one night..

Michelle said...

Rhiannon - I am having a panic attack over how long the waiting list for The Ask is at my library. I may just have to go and actually buy it. Thanks for your great interview with Ness btw. Some really good stuff.